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Deadly Depths


Deadly Depths

Former Air Force intelligence officer and Massachusetts law professor Matthew Shane becomes a globetrotter, but not the basketball player type. Readers need a literary GPS to stay on track. Private jets and luxurious yachts ferry Shane to New Orleans, Montreal, Marseilles and Jamaica by beneficial billionaires who have custom-tailored silk suits awaiting his arrival by a chauffeured Bentley to their mansions. Ah, the good life!

"DEADLY DEPTHS is an educational and enjoyable read for those prepared for fantasy masquerading as a thriller."

Archaeologist Barrington Holmes, Shane’s friend and fellow professor, is found with a slit wrist: an apparent suicide. Minimal blood loss and other evidence suggest murder. Holmes was one of five members of the Monkey’s Paw Society, a group of elite archaeologists that comes across evidence of a hidden gem-encrusted Aztec statue made of solid gold. That evidence is confirmed by Welsh sailor Dylan Llewellyn’s multi-chapter memoir that Shane uncovers in the sunken remnants of a pirated Spanish galleon from the 1670s. Llewellyn, in this fact-based fantasy, was the protégé of fellow Welshman Captain Henry Morgan.

Now, some of the “Monkey’s Paws” are dead, and the others fear for their lives. Each was given a partial clue to discover the location of the Aztec statue that Captain Morgan brought from Panama City, after plundering several Spanish strongholds, to hide near his plantations in Jamaica. The five clues must be jointly disclosed to all members of the Monkey’s Paw Society, a recipe to incite murder to obtain the puzzle pieces --- and the Aztec statue of incomparable value.

Thickening the mix is a reference to Ashanti region slaves brought to Jamaica, where this work of fiction would have readers believe that descendants still speak the native language, Twi. According to this link, Jamaica’s majority speak a unique Patois.

References dazzle literary fans, such as "a promise made is a debt unpaid", a line taken from Robert W. Service’s poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Armchair travelers experience joyful jetlag globetrotting to wealthy enclaves. History buffs find themselves fact-checking events of the mid-17th century. DEADLY DEPTHS is an educational and enjoyable read for those prepared for fantasy masquerading as a thriller.

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on August 25, 2023

Deadly Depths
by John F. Dobbyn

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1608095487
  • ISBN-13: 9781608095483